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Dental Care Starts From The Womb – Dr. Olatosi

Baby Dental Health Care
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As Nigerian’s celebrate this year’s Children’s Day, expectant mothers have been urged to eat healthy foods as part of measures to ensure good oral health for their unborn babies.

Speaking during an event to mark Children’s Day organised by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, for school children in Lagos, a Consultant Paediatric Dentist, Dr. Olubukola Olatosi said dental health for children starts the moment a women gets pregnant, adding that any illness experienced during the period would affect the development of the baby’s teeth.

Olatosi said pregnant women are encouraged to eat balanced diets particularly foods enrich with calcium because as pregnancy is developing so also the teeth.

She further condemned the idea of mothers leaving feeding bottles in their baby’s mouth, adding that such behaviour could threaten the health of that infant.

“Some parents leave feeding bottle containing formula in their baby’s mouth as a way of pacifying that child to sleep. This attitude can expose such infant to tooth decay.”

“Once the child is born, the mother is expected to start cleaning his mouth with either cloth or cottonwood, and little salt inside warm water after breast feeding the baby. As soon as the first teeth erupt, the mother should start brushing the teeth with fluoride containing tooth paste so that aside cleaning the mouth, it will also make the teeth strong.”

“When that child is around two years, he will be struggling to brush by himself, at this time; the mother is expected to allow the child to do the first brushing while the mother later carried out the second brushing. This can continue till when the child reaches age 10, by that time the child would have gain enough experience to do it alone. The job of mother then will be to remind the child to brush his teeth.”

Olatosi however cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the type of tooth pick they use in picking their teeth to avoid damaging their teeth in the process.

She, however, advocated for regular brushing with fluoride containing toothpaste, adding: “It is ideal to brush twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing before bed at night. We also encourage all mothers to take their children to dentists before their first birthday. It is not until the child presents with pains before they have to visit a dentist. Once the child starts to lose teeth, he will not be able to chew very well. It is ideal for everyone to visit their dentist at least twice a year.”

Source: Vanguard

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